Composed by Jens Hedman and Paulina Sundin
World premiered at ACMC in Wellington, New Zealand, 1999.
Format: exists in 2.0, 5.0, 8.0 and 12.0 versions.
CURRENTS is a musical tribute to our hometown, Stockholm, portraying the flows and streams in the city from four different sound perspectives. The work also deals with the changing seasons and different times of day. It was composed at EMS in Stockholm and all the sound material was recorded in the city and its districts using a Neumann kunstkopf microphone. The first two parts were composed in 1996 and the remaining two in 1998. Each of the four sections can also be played separately as short electroclips.
The first performance of Currents was at “Hey Listen”, the international sound conference for acoustic ecology arranged by the Swedish Royal Academy of Music together with World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) and Stockholm European Capital of Culture 1998. Since then the piece has been performed frequently at concerts and has also been used by other artists, such as the Basle Dance Company, which added choreography to the piece during ISCM World Music Days 2000 in Luxembourg. The architect Martin Edvardsson created a visual interpretation of Currents for Galleri Maneten during the UNM Festival in Gothenburg in 1999. Currents is available in three different versions: 2-channel, 8-channel and 12-channel. The 12-channel version was specially made for the open-air pavilion, Elektrofonen, created by Jens Hedman and Christian Hörgren. Elektrofonen, which is mobile, has toured Sweden and could be seen, among other places, at Stockholm Water Festival in 1999. The 8-channel version has been performed at ACMC in Wellington, New Zealand and at the Rien à Voir Festival in Canada in 1999.
ACMC in Wellington, New Zealand 1999. First performance.
Fylkingen, Stockholm -97 (part 2)
Hey Listen, open air concert at Riddarholmen, Stockholm -98 (version 1)
UEA, Norwich -98 (version 1)
ACMC in Wellington, New Zealand -99
New Zealand radio -99
Elektrofonen at Kulturhuset in Stockholm -99
Elektrofonen, Stockholm Water festival -99
Swedish National Radio -99
Elektrofonen, Telia, -99
Elektrofonen, Edsviks konsthall -99
Young Nordic Music, Gothenburg -99
Galleri Maneten, Gothenburg -99
Elektrofonen, Karlstadl -99
Rien á voir, Montreal, Canada -99
ISCM World Music Days in Luxemburg -00
EXPO 2000, Hannover -00
Musikspegeln, SvT -00
Soundscapes voor 2000, Amsterdam -00
Melbourne, Australia -00
Swedish National Radio, Delta -01
New Acousmatic Art, Stockholm -01
Kristianstaddagarna, Kristianstad -01
Visby, Gotland –02
Silent Waters in Helsinki –02
New Music Festival in Halmstad -02
Radio Centraal FM103.9, Antwerp, Belgium -03
Kretsar kring strängar, Fylkingen -03
Gnissel, skrap och stråkdarr, Gävle -04
RTQE radio, WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin -05
Hörlurskonsert, Kulturhuset, Stockholm -06
Mexico City 24 May -07
Visavi at Fylkingen, Stockholm -07
Released on CD Currents: Elektron EM 1002
Written by Ingvar Loco Nordin
“You may already have guessed that Paulina Sundin’s and Jens Hedman’s electroacoustics fit me perfectly, really reassuring me in my notion of something good going on in Stockholm!
Tracks 3 through 6 make up the title work; “Currents” (1998) – a joint effort by the gifted composers Sundin and Hedman. There is a sub-title to this piece; “Traffic – Water – Nature – City”, which sounds a lot like programmatic music. Is it? Well, yes, in a way – but only slightly, giving a hint, an idea, a direction. There is some traffic, highly spatial, wonderfully spatial – and maybe – maybe – bicycle spokes being plucked… It sure moves, anyway, in delicate, very clean sounds, delicacies. These sounds are like chocolate candies in colored wrappings; wrappings in clear colors: stark blue, overwhelmingly green, Buddha-golden, Antarctica-silver. This package is full of goodies for the ear and for the imagination, and I just keep on getting more and more impressed! I probably have the darnest collection of electroacoustics in Northern Europe, and this CD comes out on top together with a few select others. Not bad! The sheer intensity of the event between 1:45 and 1.56 on track 4 calls for extra honors, no doubt! This couple really does work well together! A little later it gets enchanted, silvery, forest hazy, with elves and fairies fluttering about in the meadows. This is John Bauer music for a while. Magic! Man, it doesn’t get better than this – this is as good as it comes! I’m going to play this DC a lot! When I get enthusiastic I get – enthusiastic! The nature part of “Currents” is no simple forest sampler! It gets darn sophisticated!
Paulina and Jens do not have anything more to learn from the wizards at Groupe de Recherches Musicales. They got so much poetry and so much technical skill to get it across that it bends me over and turns me around… Wow! This is outrageous! The sheer composition of it all is magnificent. It doesn’t matter if you have all the machinery and all the sounds, if you don’t have a compositional idea. These guys do! They mix these wondrous sounds into an overwhelmingly beautiful and interesting – imaginative – web!”
About the CD Currents:
Written by: Jiituomas, Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys
“Currents is a collection of important pieces from the careers of two internationally acclaimed Swedish electro-acoustic composers, Paulina Sundin and Jens Hedman. The majority of them are classical music -based avant-garde compositions in which minute changes create larger elements. A deviation from that template is Hedman’s clever Mix-up (written in 2000), in which he has according to his own words played “500 sounds in 500 seconds”. It is essentially a mixture of short clips from the artist’s favourites (designed to be played from different speakers in a hall), and manages an amazing change from a complete mess to effective minimalist noise. The album has two other gems as well, namely Hedman’s drone-based Relief and Sundin’s Clandestine Parts, in which a group of tiny dissonant noises join into a beautiful, ethereal ambience. All in all, Currents well showcases how brilliant results can be acquired when artists fuse the best parts from several different genres of experimentation. Every track on it is excellent, and works as an example of music where free-spirited experimentation and classical attention to details flawlessly fuse together. The package is perfected by the album’s gorgeous liner, extremely informative in its minimalism – just like the music itself. Very highly recommended.“